Sources: New Net Rules Include Interconnection Complaint Regime

According to sources, the FCC's new open Internet rules, a draft of which is expected to be circulated Feb. 5, will include interconnection, at least to the extent that the FCC will look on a case-by-case basis at whether a paid peering deal's access fees have the effect of degrading access in violation of network neutrality rules.

That would be a way to work the issue into the rules, but with a case-by-case approach that is similar to the program access regime. That might not please activists seeking stronger Interconnection language since many feel the program access complaint regime has not worked very well.

According to a source familiar with the proceedings who spoke not for attribution, the idea is that a Netflix or Cogent could complain that a paid peering deal is an effort to "extort" fees, but the rule would not include a specific interconnection-related regulation, only the opportunity to make the case that such interconnection fees have the effect of violating a no-blocking or degrading rule.

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John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.